TPP Successfully Resurrected – 11 Countries Look Towards Ratification

The 11 remaining countries involved in the TPP have agreed that they will try and bring the controversial agreement into force without the US.

Last week, we reported on a meeting to be held by the 11 remaining countries of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. The goal of that meeting is to see if the remaining countries would agree to push ahead with the agreement without the US.

It appears that there are results of that meeting to report. According to CNBC, the countries have agreed to forge ahead without the US:

In a pushback against the Trump administration’s protectionist rhetoric, 11 nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal have agreed on Sunday to proceed without the U.S.

The 11 nations met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting for trade ministers in Hanoi and agreed to assess options to bring the deal into force “expeditiously.”

While this means that the TPP has been successfully resurrected, there is still work to do to compensate for the lack of a US presence:

He noted that multi-lateral deals were always a “fruit salad” and there would be hurdles as each country would need to recalibrate their expectations for the U.S.’s absence from the deal.

The question then becomes, how much will the TPP change now that the US is gone? That remains up in the air:

Whether U.S.-centric provisions are removed from the agreement may be a key sticking point.

Japan was one of only two countries — New Zealand was the other — that had already ratified the TPP and removing the U.S.-centric provisions may require the deal to pass through its Diet once again.

Keeping the provisions in the deal may also make it easier for the U.S. to change its mind and rejoin at a later date.

While the US is clear that they don’t want to come back to the agreement, the other countries said that they would accept the US back into the fold should that country change its mind.

The agreement, as it stands now, would take a multi-pronged approach to suppress the governments ability to regulate itself. Instead, through ISDS provisions, that power would transfer over to multi-national corporations. The agreement would also represent a major crackdown on civil and digital rights.

In addition to this, the agreement has faced near universal rejection from civil and digital rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Green Peace. The agreement also sparked massive protests all around the world in countries like Peru, the US, New Zealand, and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the TPP is supported by multinational corporations and representative organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

So, while the US may dodge a bullet on this one, the remaining countries may not be so lucky if the controversial provisions move ahead.

So while there are still unknown elements at play here, what we do know is that the agreement will move ahead. With the US stepping aside in all of this, the odds have improved for the ratification of the TPP. So a clash between government and the people they are supposed to represent will certainly be a possibility in the future. What is certain is that a storm is definitely brewing now.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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